External Stakeholder Dialogue and Communication
VinylPlus is committed to raising awareness of sustainability at all points on the value chain, as well as among other stakeholders – whether they be inside or outside the PVC industry. VinylPlus also promotes frank and open dialogue with all stakeholders, third parties, institutions and organisations in different communities – technical, political and social.
In April, VinylPlus contributed to the PVC Formulation 2016 conference in Cologne, Germany, with a presentation entitled, ‘EPDplus, the new comprehensive VinylPlus approach for assessing the sustainable use of PVC additives’.
Since 2013, the annual VinylPlus Sustainability Forum organised by VinylPlus has brought together stakeholders from academia, government bodies, the UN, the European Commission, NGOs, retailers, architects, designers and all sectors of the PVC industry. At the Forum, they discuss achievements and innovations and explore the way forward to a more-sustainable low-carbon future. The 4th VinylPlus Sustainability Forum, ‘Smart Vinyl for Our Cities’, took place in Vienna, Austria, in April 2016.
The third Partnering for VinylPlus Communication Event was held in Bonn, Germany, in June 2016 to share best practices and a common vision for VinylPlus communications. It was attended by 25 representatives of the VinylPlus Communications Committee, the PVC Network and Sector Groups linked to VinylPlus.
In September 2016, the VinylPlus sustainability programme was presented at the ‘Transition to the Green Economy’ conference held in Bratislava, Slovakia. The conference was held to attract the attention of all relevant stakeholders and create a space for informed discussion of the key questions over the transition to a green economy.
‘Circular Economy in Practice’ was the theme of the VinylPlus fourth stakeholder meeting, which took place in Rome, Italy, in October 2016. The objective was to discuss the contribution of the PVC industry to the circular economy. The meeting was attended by representatives from Italy’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Ministries of Environment, Economic Development and Health; and National Health Institute.
In October 2016, VinylPlus contributed to the Global Chemical Industry European Convention in Florence, Italy, with a presentation on ’15 Years of Circular Economy in Practice – The European PVC Industry in Action’.
VinylPlus participated in the EU Conference on Plastics, held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in December 2016. Approximately 300 participants contributed to the development of the European Strategy on Plastics.
In 2016, VinylPlus published a new brochure on ‘Vinyl in European Stadiums’, highlighting how the use of PVC combines environmental responsibility and architectural potential. The fact sheet ‘Showing the Path for a Circular Economy’ maps out the role of VinylPlus in improving environmental protection in a sustainable and economically viable way.
Twitter is an effective and versatile tool for VinylPlus communications with its stakeholders. This was confirmed by the number of followers of VinylPlus’ Twitter account – @VinylPlus_EU – more than doubling in 2016.
As in previous years, in 2016 VinylPlus co-funded a range of projects with the aim of expanding the scope of its communications activities. Thirteen joint-communications projects were implemented, by five European industry sector organisations and six national PVC associations.
Cooperation Agreement of the Social Partners of the European Chemical SSDC and VinylPlus on the European PVC Industry
In order to review and update the Social Dialogue Charter dated October 2000 and part of Vinyl 2010, VinylPlus and IndustriAll have developed a new cooperation agreement to be included in the PVC Industry Voluntary Commitment.
This agreement was endorsed by ECEG (European Chemical Employers Group) and formally signed on 24 February 2017 between VinylPlus and the European Chemical SSDC (made of ECEG and IndustriAll) set up at the end of 2004 under the umbrella of the EU Commission Decision 98/500/EC promoting the dialogue between the social partners in the sectors at European level.
This joint commitment on the European PVC industry defines areas and subjects of joint activities of all three parties within this intensified cooperation for the period of 2016-2020.
These areas and subjects will be fully linked to the European Chemical Industry Sectoral Social Partners’ 2015-2020 Roadmap and will focus on the following priorities:
- Health & Safety
- Education / training
- Knowledge transfer
- Sector evolution
This commitment to intensify cooperation has been agreed by VinylPlus on behalf of ECVM, ESPA and European Plasticisers (former ECPI). EuPC, VinylPlus’ fourth member agreed to be involved as well. The Cooperation Agreement will be updated accordingly.
Download the Cooperation Agreement.
VinylPlus actively shares experience, knowledge and best practices with the other regional PVC associations at a global level. VinylPlus participated in Vinyl India® 2016 in April, the 6th International PVC & Chlor-Alkali Conference in Mumbai. It also participated in the bi-annual meetings of the GVC (Global Vinyl Council), in Vienna, Austria, in April and in Melbourne, Australia, in May.
In December 2016, VinylPlus was selected as a “Highly Commended” entry by The Circulars 2017, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders. The Circulars is one of the world’s premier circular economy award programmes, offering recognition to individuals and organizations that have made notable contributions to the circular economy in the public and private sectors and in wider society.
The VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment was included in the Rio+20 Registry of Commitments in 2012. VinylPlus is now registered as a ‘SMART’ partnership on the UN Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals Platform. Since November 2013, VinylPlus has been a member of the Green Industry Platform (GIP), the global high-level, multi-stakeholder partnership led by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In 2016, Stephan Sicars, Director of the Environmental Branch of UNIDO, participated as keynote speaker in the Vinyl Sustainability Forum.